Project Management Institute

The effects of marginality and reward on matrix conflict

The effects of a weighted reward system (group vs. individual) and of marginality (self-other orientation) on matrix conflict was studied during the implementation phase of a project life cycle. Senior business students acting as managers in a business policy game produced the following results: (1) a reward system with equal weight on group and individual goals reduced conflict when compared to a reward system placing more weight on individual goals, (2) paired decision makers low in marginality tended to show increasing conflict, and (3) teams with equally weighted goals (group vs. individual) performed at higher levels than those teams with unequally weighted reward systems. Additionally, the research validated use of student surrogates in market simulations.
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